Shop talk, answers to your FAQs, and a peek behind the scenes of an artist-run fine art gallery in Park Slope
Of course there was a mariachi band . . .and free art for everyone. A few weeks ago we celebrated the life of Vicki Behm, our beloved artist-colleague at the gallery, who passed away in February. Her indomitable spirit and flair for the perfect artistic gesture was evident in how she spent her last months: she put together a retrospective including her iconic sketchbooks and journals. She even planned her own memorial service that was as quirky, personal, and beautiful as she was.
The service began at the Church of St. Luke in the Fields in the West Village. Over the years Vicki spent a lot of time in Oaxaca, Mexico, and that flavored her art and the soundtrack of the service. The mariachi band Mariachi sol Mixteco and The Park Avenue Armory Artist Chorus performed with zest and elegance. Friends and family regaled the packed church with memories and stories that elicited laughter, applause, and tears. However, true to herself, she did not allow us to dwell in pathos for long. At the end of the service the entire congregation was invited to follow the mariachi band as it played joyfully through the streets to the courtyard of the building where she and her husband Glenn lived.
There everyone was greeted with spring flowers donated by Vicki’s coworkers at The Park Avenue Armory and Studio in a School.
Prints of her work hung from criss-crossing clotheslines. Guests were told to take a drawing in remembrance.
We all were lucky enough to take a small piece of Vicki home with us.
Donations in Vicki Behm’s memory may be made to Studio in a School, 75 West End Avenue, New York, NY 10023, Attn: Joyce Lawler, and to The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network at http://www.pancan.org.